Council Letter | Celebrating Women’s Equality Day Every Day!

August 23, 2023

Dear Colleagues,

In 1995, Cher released “It’s a Man’s World.” In this classic album, Cher gave her rendition of James Brown’s 1966 hit song, “It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World.” And Cher had her own ideas about who runs the world. “Women are the real architects of society,” she said. And we must believe in ourselves, urged another music icon. “We need to reshape our perception of how we view ourselves. We have to step up as women and take the lead,” Beyoncé urged us. And prominent women in other fields have agreed. “Our country was built by strong women,” said feminist icon Gloria Steinem. “We will continue to break down walls and defy stereotypes”—especially with high-quality early education. “When girls are given the right tools to succeed, they can create incredible futures, not only for themselves but also for those around them,” said Meghan Markle, actress and British royal.

And it’s a thought for the early learning field to keep in mind this month as we mark Women’s Equality Day. Many prejudices are picked up at an early age, so educators can play a key role in teaching kids that we are all equal. You can monitor how boys and girls interact. You can encourage them to talk about equality and help every child feel proud of themselves. You can make children believe they can contribute to the world, whatever their gender, background or cultural beliefs.

This is the bedrock of the Child Development Associate® (CDA) Credential™, and this month we feature two women who are doing their part to build a sense of equality and equity in our early childhood settings. They’re both winners of the Council’s scholarship for the Early Educators Leadership Conference, and they’re leading the way to help other women earn their CDA®.

Tabitha Williams is the founder of Parents for Healthy Homes in Grand Rapids, MI. Her grassroots group brings parents together to fight for lead-free housing, raise awareness of mental health issues and improve early learning for Grand Rapids children. Many members of her group are also struggling because of the child care crisis, so she’s helping parents earn their CDA as part of her goal to build a better future for Grand Rapids families. “Mental health, lead-free housing and quality early learning are all essential for healthy homes,” as she explains. “So, I’m working to get that message across, and the bonds I’ve built with parents will help me succeed in pushing for needed reforms. Change moves at the speed of trust.”

Diana Molina also makes it a point to build bonds with the educators she serves as the bilingual early childhood pathway coordinator at Metro Community College in Omaha, NE. “I share my story,” she says, “when I go to Head Start centers to get early childhood teachers enrolled in our CDA program—a process Diana went through when she was a young woman with limited prospects. “I want Spanish-speaking teachers to realize how far they can rise in their careers. So, I keep telling them that I came from nothing and had parents who didn’t put much stock in education. Yet here I am standing before you as a leader. I struggled to get here without any support, and that’s why I’m here to give it to you.”

The Council is also working to give educators more support by reimagining the CDA. Read Dr. Moore’s new white paper on how we’ve listened to our CDAs and learned ways to build more equity in our credentialing process. Then turn to his blog, Feeling Good About the Learning Field. Dr. Moore discusses how far we’re come since 1966, the year James Brown hit the top of the Billboard charts when he sang “It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World.” In subsequent decades, women have made advances in many fields, but there’s still work ahead, especially since COVID led to a setback in women’s employment. In recent years, the major roadblock for women in has been the lack of child care, so the steps we take to advance our field will also advance equality for women. But as educators, we don’t just empower women. We also give children the tools they need to build a better world for both women and men.

Happy Women’s Equality Day,
The Council for Professional Recognition





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